Make a shelter cat a new friend and part of your family during American Humane’s June Adopt-A-Cat month
May 20, 2010–Begin a new part of your life with love, compansionship and a lot of fun, too, by adopting a shelter cat during the month of June. This year, American Humane is partnering with the CATalyst Council to promote cat adoptions during the heavy kitten season and encourage a lifetime of health and happiness together.
Each spring and summer, cats reproduce in record numbers, and literally millions end up in animal shelters. Local shelters are bursting at the seams with cats of every breed, age and personality just waiting for someone to give them a new home. Whether you prefer a cat that’s young and frisky or mature and mellow, you are sure to find the ideal cat companion during Adopt-A-Cat month. Once you bring your new friend home, keep these helpful tips handy that will help you enjoy a lifetime of health and happiness together.
Helpful ways to care for your cat:
* Your vet is always your best bet: Take your pet in for a check-up twice a year; a wellness check is always a good idea, and any problems can be diagnosed and treated early. Cats are consistent in their habits and behavior. If your cat suddenly acts out of character, it could be a sign of a problem. Don’t think it will go away on its own.
* They are what they eat: The proper diet is important with any animal, and should be geared toward your cats overall health, age and activity. Your veterinarian is the best source of guidance for recommending a food that is nutritious, palatable and tasty. Taste and smell is important because you can buy the most expensive food on the market, but it won’t do your cats any good if they don’t eat it.
* No “fat cats”: Any obese pet can suffer serious health problems and cats are certainly no exception. Provide interesting toys for your cat and play games with him or her regularly to encourage activity. Cats are curious creatures and will show interest in just about anything that’s, well, interesting.
* The “inside story,”: It’s not rocket science to prevent internal and external parasites with protection all-year round. Don’t think that because you have an indoor cat or cats that they’re immune from parasites. Prevention is one of the big benefits of the bi-annual visit to your vet. Your cat can be easily checked for external parasites like fleas and for internal parasites by bringing in a stool sample for microscopic analysis.
* Have you seen this cat?: Despite the fact that he or she is an indoor cat, they can, and they do, get lost. A microchip and breakaway collars with ID tags should be as natural part of your cat as their fur, and don’t forget to register your cat with the microchip provider.
* Really catching on: Every year more and more pet owners are discovering the benefits and peace of mind by having pet insurance. It’s no secret that veterinary care is expensive and pet insurance may help cover the cost of an expensive treatment or procedure that you might not otherwise be in a position to afford.
* Cleanliness is next to CATliness: Most cats are very clean, so much so that if you ignore or forget to clean and change the litter box, you just might get a surprise donation where you don’t expect one, that’s not in the box. Of course, provide the number of boxes that accommodate the number of cats you may have. The cats also need to feel comfortable where they do their “nature calls.” The box needs to be large enough for the cats to turn around, and to be able to manuever covering their deposits. One rule to use is a box that matches the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail in length.
* A reminder: Domestic cats are social animals, like their lion cousins, and unlike their solitary relations, leopards, jaguars, tigers, etc. When you witness two cats grooming each other, they’re not just cleaning each other but also reinforcing and strengthing social bonds that contribute to their overall well-being, so maybe more than one cat might be in order. I believe it would come as no surprise that there are more multicat households than single cat owners. But, this is an individual choice for each perspective adoptee.
For cat care and behavior tips, visit www.americanhumane.org/aacm; for additional resourses and more information on the CATalyst Council, visit www.catalystcouncil.org.